Three pieces, three improvisers, three instruments that are almost indistinguishable. In the early 2000s, Axel Dörner has become a master at producing electronic-like sounds with his trumpet, focusing on extremely quiet gestures based on breathing techniques. His later addition of a computer to his live setup has further blurred the distinction between acoustics and electronics. Like Xavier Charles, Dörner's partner in the groundbreaking album The Contest of Pleasures, Kai Fagaschinski explores the inner depths of the clarinet: fragile overtones, controlled squonks, more breathing. Boris Baltschun's sampler emits abstract sounds of an electronic nature, the large majority of them relying on texture and grain instead of tone. The three pieces on No Furniture have a duration of 13 to 16 minutes. "Chair" is a delicate opening where individual contributions are subsumed to a greater whole. A bit static, it still strikes the imagination. "Table" is more dynamic, noisier (thanks to sustained textures from sampler and computer), and lively, however strange this word may sound when associated with such demanding music. The closing "Bed" stretches to dynamic extremes, improvisers taking turns to unleash sudden loud sounds before regrouping for tutti sections of an extreme precision -- the last three minutes of the piece sound thoroughly composed or at least sketched, like Polwechsel's compositions -- and the different character of each piece reinforces that impression. Fans of this kind of extremely challenging electro-acoustic improvisation will find in No Furniture a close listening experience to cherish. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture